Playing the role of the interviewer is no simple task. While you might not be the one in the hot seat, the words that come out of your mouth can be equally as important. There are interview techniques that some of the best recruiters and HR professionals utilize when looking to fill positions with the most qualified candidates.
Encourage the candidate to think differently and creatively when they’re interviewing. For many candidates going through the job search process, interviews become monotonous. Interviewers need to go against the grain to truly get to know a candidate.
The following techniques will help the interviewer understand the mind and thought process of the candidate, which will ultimately determine whether the candidate will be a good cultural fit and if they’ll help propel the company forward.
- Start by asking the candidate how they prepared for the interview. Not every job seeker takes the time to do research before an interview, whether it was about the interviewer, the company or recent company news. If they did research, ask a couple of questions about their findings. If they didn’t, move on to the next question. Don’t ask why they didn’t, the goal shouldn’t be to embarrass them.
- Ask how they prioritize their time. This is a great question for recent college graduates because the interviewer can reference how busy college life can be (social events, projects, group work, jobs, internships, class and social media) and then ask the candidate how they get it all done. People don’t magically become organized and detail-oriented; those are behaviors that are often started in college.
- Role play during the interview. If the position in question will be part of a team, ask the candidate why people would want him or her on their team. Using this interview technique will force the candidate to adapt to a new role and look through a different lens. Answers that reveal promise will likely have to do with their dependability, responsibility, negotiation skills, subject matter expertise, leadership abilities, etc.
- Ask how a reference will describe the candidate. Every resume lists “references available upon request,” yet most interviewers don’t discuss references until later in the process. Ask for more information about the reference and then ask the candidate to describe what the reference would say about them. Usually references are listed because the job seeker respects the person, the reference has a credible reputation or there is a strong relationship between the two. This telling technique helps because the candidate is less likely to lie or inflate the reference’s opinion of the candidate.
When interviewing job candidates, what are some of your go-to interview questions? Be sure to include the answers you look for when asking those questions.